Old tree, new art

Here’s a new, but perhaps not entirely unfamiliar, piece of art in downtown Ontario. It came about after the city’s arborist determined that an ash tree next to City Hall in the Conservation Park was past saving.

“Rather than cut it down, we commissioned an artist to create something in keeping with the Conservation Park,” assistant city manager Al Boling said.

And so the tree was stripped of bark and limbs, and woodcarver Eric Garcia created “Shamel Ash” with chainsaw, hand tools and a blowtorch. The trunk now appears to be made up of flowers, butterflies, seeds, caterpillars and a praying mantis. Cost was under $5,000.

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  • DebB

    That is absolutely gorgeous, and a wonderful piece of public art! Do you know if they did anything to stabilize the tree so the wood won’t deteriorate? I have a dead tree in my front yard – I wonder if I could have someone do a similar thing?

    • davidallen909

      It’s meant as a permanent sculpture, but I admit I don’t know the answer to your question.